Smoke Free: Both Sides of the StoryJanuary 23, 2008 at 11:06 am | Posted in The Smoker's Room | 1 Comment
Tags: Health, Quit Smoking, Smoking
I’ve been smoke free for a little over a month now. Let me tell you, its been one rollercoaster ride. I don’t think I’ll ever start smoking again just so I don’t have to go through this ordeal for a second time. There are so many good points to stop smoking but there can also be a few negative ones… So for all of you who are thinking of quitting, here’s a brief summary of what to look for.
Negative: (believe me when I tell you that I experienced each and every one)
1. Nicotine Withdrawal: common symptoms which happen in the first week are depression, irritability, anger, frustration, dizziness, anxiety, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, eating like there’s no tomorrow, headaches and so on.
Uncommon symptoms include ulcers and the same exact symptoms as having a bad cold for up to two weeks after stopping.
2. Psychological Withdrawal: If the mind can make the body do anything it wants it to do, this is your biggest enemy then. You will long for cigarettes for atleast the first month. But slowly, you will break habits you are used to such as ciggarette with coffee in the morning or after lunch or with friends over dinner and at a club. I suggest you stop these completely for the first two weeks otherwise it will be next to impossible.
After about a month, you start to feel the benefits of quitting smoking. You feel more energy, naturally more happier, you enjoy the smaller things because you don’t have something more pleasurable to take away the focus, you get so much more work done and you know you will not die from smoking (this affects you more than you think subconsciously).
Below are a list of health benefits over time achieved when you stop smoking as published by the American Cancer Society
20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drops.
12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease.
15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.
For further info and assistance on quitting, check out the American Cancer Society’s Guide to Quitting Smoking.